Reply To: Fuel Costs For Communal Areas

Peter Barker

Nor can I.

If it weren’t for Basey, you could perhaps make a case for saying that kitchens and bathrooms aren’t tooms of common use, because the type of fuel consumption that takes place in those rooms is different from the consumption that takes place in rooms where people congregate communally. Heating and lighting a shared living room where people socialise is an extra cost on top of heating and lighting the tenant’s private living space, and it would be unfair to clobber them with both. Whereas you don’t cook the double the amount of food in a shared kitchen, and you don’t shower twice in a shared bathroom: the amount of fuel that you yourself use to cook or shower would be the same irrespective of whether anyone else is using the same room before/after you. I can see how that argument could be used to say that rooms of common use are rooms where fuel is used for additional communal purposes, over and above your personal use of fuel.

But the number of references to kitchens in Basey I think makes it very difficult to argue that a shared kitchen is not a room of common use … and once we accept that it is a room of common use, I cannot see any basis in the regs for splitting fuel use into different subcategories.

Furthermore, I think that a floorspace apportionment possibly overestimates the personal ineligible fuel use because if the only kitchens and bathrooms (and washing machines even) are shared with other tenants, the fuel consumption is probably disproportionately higher in the rooms of common use. Anything we can do to help the punters with the spiralling cost of living …